The Michigan Melee Wouldn’t Have Happened If Basketball Had Fightin’ Goalies
So many people in the Midwest this week have their panties in a wad over the kerfuffle between Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard and the Wisconsin coaching staff. Howard wasn't happy with a late-game timeout taken by his Wisconsin counterpart Greg Gard, and all hell broke loose after the game as handshakes were taking place.
Yes, the incident was unfortunate, and Howard has apologized and been suspended for the remainder of the regular season. But c'mon, this is sports. And if basketball had goalies, then this melee would've been the play of the year, rather than the lead story on Sportcenter for a few day.
The problem, as I see it, is that we're trying to take competitive, emotion-packed sports and turn them into Kumbaya moments.
Allow me to take you back to March 26th, 1997.
(hockeyfights.com via YouTube)
I swear to you, I'm not a big fan of fighting, but at the same time, there's nothing like a great hockey donnybrook, but only if the goalie drop the gloves (and whatever other equipment they can lose, too). The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche had a fierce rivalry (to say the least) in the 1990's. There were guys like Darren McCarty and Kris Draper and the most hated of the 'Lanche was Claude Lemieux. But not far below that was goaltender Patrick Roy, who had a bit of a temper, too.
Basketball, like hockey. is an emotional sport. If you had each team dress one goalie, and if things got out of hand, and say you let the goalies have it out, basketball and life in general would be a happier place. The goalie take it out on each other, and then the coaches don't have to. The game has a way of policing itself, and this is one of the ways. And who doesn't love a good goalie fight?